Premium Essay

Cruel and Unusual

In: Other Topics

Submitted By julie74
Words 315
Pages 2
Graham vs. Florida Docket No. 08-7412
Case Basics:
Petitioner-Terrence Jamar Graham
Decided By-Roberts Court (2009-2010)
Opinion-560 U.S.__ (2010)
Granted-Monday, May 4, 2009
Argued-Monday November 2, 2009
Decided-Monday, May 17, 2010
Advocate’s-Brian S Gowdy(for the petitioner)
Scott D Makar-(solicitor general of Florida, for the respondent)

16 year old Terrence Graham was convicted of armed burglary and attempted armed robbery he served 12 months then was released. Six months later Mr. Graham now 17 was tried and convicted by a Florida State court of armed home robbery and sentenced to life in prison without parole .On appeal he argued that the life sentence without parole violated his Eighth amendment and even more so was considered cruel and unusual punishment. The Supreme Court held that the Eighth Amendment’s Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause does not permit a juvenile offender to be
Sentenced to life in prison without parole for a non- homicidal crime. The eighth amendment prohibits excessive fines and bail, as well as cruel and unusual punishments. The phrase cruel and unusual punishment first appeared in the English Bill of Rights. In colonial America, the British often employed branding, whipping, public humiliation an extremely long prison sentences for minor crimes.
Pros: For Terrence 1. Gives the juvenile a chance to demonstrate maturity 2. Becomes an asset to society 3. Demonstrate reform

Pros: Life Without Parole

1. Children don’t have the maturity set to make rational decisions on their own
2. Are often pushed by peer pressure
3. Adolescents don’t tend to consider future consequences
4. Children are vulnerable to external influences.
This is what the court found to set children apart from adults and is to be handed down a differential punishment than adults when it comes...

Similar Documents

Free Essay

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

...I do believe that prison overcrowding is a violation of the Eighth Amendment because it is cruel and unusual punishment The Eighth Amendment of the states “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted” . Crime and unusual punishment is defined as a phrase describing punishment that is considered unacceptable due to the suffering, pain, or humiliation it inflicts on the person subjected to it. There are generally test that can serve as a guide to what cruel and unusual punishment is according to various legal textbooks in accordance with the law. They are 1) the frequency at which the punishment occurs in society, 2) overall acceptance in society, 3) severity (the punishment fits the crime), and 4) if the punishment arbitrary (random). I say that overcrowding is a violation of the Eighth Amendment because prisoners that are subjected to that experience some very horrible things. For example, in some prisons that are overcrowded several prisoners are forced to share the same cell. That could cause some violent prisoners to be bunked with less violent ones and that could lead to a lot of different things (i.e... torture, rape, etc.). It can also lead to inmates to get sick. Another problem with prison overcrowding is that when the cells get overcrowded it may require some prisoners to sleep on the floor and that could lead them to catch any kind of sickness. For example there was a prisoner who served 28......

Words: 352 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Bcom 275

...Running Heads: Attorneys: Inmate gasped, snorted during two-hour execution Attorneys: Inmate gasped, snorted during two-hour execution Business Communications and Critical Thinking 07/22/2014 Attorneys: Inmate gasped, snorted during two-hour execution Firstly, I am against execution because I believe one should not kill for it is stated in the Bible, whether as some may say ‘It’s my job to do so’ or it was a premeditated incident. Furthermore, as for Joseph Rudolph Wood III, whatever heinous crime he committed, in all honesty, he does deserve to be penalized for his crime. His death was definitely punishing and mistreated. I say this because he was lethally injected and to my knowledge he was to die a hurried death. Instead, it took him approximately two hours to die by this effect. No one period, knowing they will be dead anyway would want to fight and have such a long and horrid time to try and catch air and snort and fuss to catch their breath. It was just an unpleasant and despicable way of dying. Imaging just trying your best to grasp for air for such a long period of time, it’s just sounds so grueling. Even for the ones who were witnessing, and moreover Mr. Joseph Rudolph III himself. In addition, the medicine used to perform his execution was from an ‘experiment’. In the article it quotes, "It took Joseph Wood two hours to die, and he gasped and struggled to breathe for about an hour and 40 minutes. We will renew our efforts to get information about the......

Words: 416 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Heath and Saftey in Work Place

...Health and Safety Infirmary MGT431 Health and Safety Infirmary/Clinic Proper health and safety protection for both inmates as well as medical personnel should be taking seriously at all times. The Eighth Amendment deals with the ban of cruel and unusual punishment. This gives convicted inmates rights to the proper treatment of health and conditions of a safe environment. Therefore, inmates trust in the prisons infirmary/clinic to take care of these needs. The issue in maintaining the proper health and safety for both inmates and nursing personnel is failure in proper staffing. The facilities have opened rooms and usually provide enclosed rooms to those with severe medical and mental issues. This opens the opportunity for breach of safety for those involved. Though the facilities usually have protected entrances and exits to avoid escape from the clinic itself; this same protection process may make it difficult for correctional officers to help out in an arising threat within the infirmary. Correctional officers do not accompany the nursing staff within the infirmary, but do keep close distance through monitored surveillance from close quarters. Infirmary health and safety issues vary throughout the many prisons. An example of serious violations goes to findings from an investigation completed at the Wyoming State Penitentiary (WSP). During a tour of the prison several noticeable issues were......

Words: 376 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Trial Project

...Abstract On March 3, 2010, plaintiff Tera M. Bruner-McMahon, as Administrator of the Estate of Terry Albert Bruner, filed a complaint for civil rights violations in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas against defendants Marque Jameson and Mary Staton.  The complaint alleged claims arising out of the death of Terry Albert Bruner while he was incarcerated in the Sedgwick County Jail.  Plaintiff contended that the death was a result of defendants’ deliberate indifference to Terry Albert Bruner’s serious medical needs.  Defendants denied liability.  The problem in question is the violation of the eighth amendment. Where the eighth amendment is that excessive bail shall not be required, no excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted. A jury trial was held from February 22, 2012 through March 5, 2012.  The jury returned a verdict on March 5, 2012 in favor of defendants.  The court entered judgment on March 6, 2012. Introduction In the beginning of the case the plaintiff and defendant lawyers provide their opening statements. The violation in question on the defendants was violating the eighth amendment of the then and now deceased Terry Bruner which was jailed for Driving Under the Influence, Drunk Driving, and leaving the scene of an accident. Terry Bruner had a preexisting health condition which is cirrhosis and hepatitis c. This preexisting health condition was known by the institution in which he was jailed and made......

Words: 1164 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause

...Otherwise seek the consequences of a failure and possible suspension or expulsion. 1 Explain the Eighth Amendment (Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause). The Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause can be found in the English Bill of Rights in 1689 and later adopted by the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1787. The phrase describes “punishment which is considered unacceptable due to the suffering, pain or humiliation it inflicts on the condemned person”. This amendment also includes the text that “excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed...”. It is thought that defendants who are not bailed have a more difficult time preparing for their defense. And by being “imprisoned” they are therefore being “punished” for the duration. That is why that questions of bail are always to be taken seriously by the courts. However, the Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause did not make our Founding Fathers necessarily opponents against the Death Penalty. The Crimes Act of 1790 mandated the death penalty for treason, and also the mutilation of the corpse. There is no doubt, our modern courts would find mutilation of a corpse to be regarded as cruel and unusual as well as abhorrent in practice. The practice of flogging was also considered a common “back then” but clearly unacceptable today. We can see that “cruel and unusual” seems to change with the change of society. Our Eighth Amendment would prohibit: 1) the torture of U.S.......

Words: 3204 - Pages: 13

Premium Essay

Cruel and Unusual Punishment: the Death Penalty

...Cruel and Unusual Punishment: The Death Penalty I remember watching the movie Dead Man Walking; it was about this man named Matthew Poncelet who allegedly raped a girl and killed a teenage boy. Poncelet pleaded not guilty, but was convicted as a murderer and put on death row. He asked for several appeals stating that Carl Vitello, the man he was with at the time, was the one that should be at fault. Poncelet seems very convincing that it wasn’t him, but at the end, the courts had enough evidence to grant Poncelet the retribution of execution. The movie has me questioning America’s justice system; what if someone was actually innocent? Is it right to kill someone as a consequence for their wrong doing? To some, it seems like the right thing to do. If someone breaks the rules you simply punish them. But how should we carry out these punishments? When eight-year-old Billy steals a candy bar from Seven Eleven, you can bet that one of the parents will deliver some whippings. In Texas, when I was in elementary school, I started a fight, and as a result I got sent to the principal’s office and received three licks with a paddle. So where do we draw the line? At a higher level, what happens to me if I kill someone? Since the beginning of time, societies in almost every culture and background have used capital punishment or physical chastisement as a consequence for the killing of others. But, we shouldn’t be doing this anymore; life is too valuable. Even though some......

Words: 3008 - Pages: 13

Free Essay

Cruel and Unusual Punishment or Effective Control of Sex Crimes

...Betty Waltermire Critical Issues in Criminal Justice JUS-250 April 10, 2014 Cruel and Unusual Punishment or Effective Control of Sex Crimes In the Bill of Rights we look to the Eighth Amendment to read; Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted. Excessive or disproportionate to the offense committed. A male who has been charged with and convicted of multiple sexual crimes, is going to do his time, get out of prison and offend again. To impose upon him to be chemically or surgically castrated would this procedure stop or prevent the sexual crimes from occurring. In China and the ancient world the rulers kept many wives and concubines so they would have an heir. To protect them from being impregnated by another male they used eunuchs to guard the wives and concubines. They were appointed to guard the royal household and through daily contact with the family they gained immense power (Chinese Eunuchs). According to legend castration has been used to improve the effectiveness of soldiers. The rulers would castrate the men by removing the penis and leaving the testicles. This would cause them enormous sexual frustration and they would become violent and aggressive, which was perfect for the battlefield. Chemical castration is done by injection of the FDA approved birth control drug Depo Provera to lower the testosterone levels in men, thereby......

Words: 824 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Death Penalty and Lethal Injection

...different crimes. Some of the crimes that could result in execution were stealing, treason, rape and murder. Lynching, hanging, burning, firing squad, lethal gas, electrocution and lethal injection are just some methods of execution that have been used to carry out a death sentence. Some of the past executions have been held in the public so everyone could watch. There have been cases brought against the methods of execution therefore violating the Eighth Amendment, of cruel or unusual inflicted punishment. Lethal injection as a method of execution can be viewed as cruel and unusual punishment, violating the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. There has been and always will be debates about the death penalty if it is fair or cruel and unusual punishment. Also, there are always going to be debates and Supreme Court Cases held to see if the methods of execution of the death penalty violate human beings’ rights. One early case, State of Louisiana ex rel. Francis v Resweber (1947) ruled that it was not cruel or unusual punishment to send a man to be electrocuted after he had already been placed in the chair, but had not died due to mechanical fault (Harrison & Melville, 2007). The Supreme Court Justice stated that because the defendant had been already subjected to the electric chair does not make his later execution any crueler than any other executions. This could affect a persons’ mental and physiological state of mind, knowing that they were going to die and then......

Words: 2697 - Pages: 11

Premium Essay

8th Amendment

...I think that executing a minor violates the 8th amendment, “No cruel or unusual punishment.” If a little kid makes a mistake and accidentally shoots a gun or does something that kills someone, and they are executed I think that that falls under cruel and unusual punishment. A court case that made it to the Supreme Court was the case of Kevin Nigel Stanford, who was convicted in 1981 of a murder committed in Kentucky when he was 17 years and 4 months old. Stanford and an accomplice repeatedly raped and sodomized a 20-year-old woman during the robbery of a gas station where she worked. The men took her to a wooded area, and Stanford shot her straight in the face, then in the back of the head, to prevent her from testifying against him. Stanford's case first came to the Supreme Court in 1989. In the decision Stanford vs. Kentucky, a narrow Supreme Court majority ruled the execution of death row inmates who killed before they were 18 was not then cruel and unusual punishment, following the 8th amendment of the Constitution. I think that it is unfair that a minor could be killed for something when they aren’t even allowed to vote. Those younger than 18 are not allowed to vote or be on juries, or enjoy any of the other responsibilities and privileges of adulthood because the government considers their judgment unformed. So why would you execute them if you think their judgment isn’t up to par? To the government their judgment isn’t up to par, so don’t tell minors that they......

Words: 546 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Capital Punishment

...death penalty occurred in the American colonies the year of 1608, The victim being Captain George Kendall in the Jamestown Colony. Throughout history the death penalty has been known to be carried out by one of five lawful means; Hanging, Gas Chambers, Firing Squad, Lethal Injection, and Electrocution. In the eighteenth century 162 documented executions took place, Followed by 1,391 executions in the nineteenth century. Towards the end of the Revolutionary War, 11 Colonies wrote new constitutions allowing Capital Punishment. Ironically, nine out of those eleven colonies did not allow “Cruel and Unusual Punishment.” The Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution prohibits the government from inflicting "cruel and unusual punishments." The uncertainty of the phrase "cruel and unusual." cause controversy's over the constitutionality of the death penalty. Some argue that the phrase "cruel and unusual" refers to the type of punishment inflicted, others feel that the phrase refers to the degree and duration of the punishment. The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected both interpretations, leaving the death penalty a legal means of punishing certain criminals. The cost of the death penalty alone is a major quandary. The actual execution process itself is rather quick and simple, although there is a mandatory review for all sentences of death by the supreme court, at an additional cost of $70,000. Even worse, it doesn't stop there. If a case advances...

Words: 547 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Capital Punishment

...he death penalty has been around for centuries. It dates back to when Hammurabi had his laws codified; it was “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”. Capital punishment in America started when spies were caught, put on trial and hung. In the past and still today people argue that, the death penalty is cruel, unusual punishment and should be illegal. Yet many people argue that it is in fact justifiable and it is not cruel and unusual. Capital punishment is not cruel and unusual; the death penalty is fair and there is evidence that the death penalty deters crime. A big part of abolitionist’s argument is that the death penalty is not humane. They pull in Amendment 8, “…nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” What the victim went though was indeed “cruel and unusual punishments’.” The murderers’ death is not cruel. The people will demand justice for what he or she has done (Bidinotto 19). Hanging and the electric chair are topics more reasonable to argue, but now because of lethal injection capital punishment has become more humane. The death penalty is not barbaric, the pain and agony that the victim went through is barbaric. Abolitionists were very upset in 1996 when rapist and murderer John Albert Taylor was executed by firing squad; they said his death was barbaric (Feder 32). Charla King, the poor 11-year-old girl he raped and strangled with a telephone cord, her death was barbaric! It makes no sense to think that John Taylor’s’ death was barbaric or inhumane. He......

Words: 989 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Two Constitutional Amendments

...Two Constitutional Amendments The first amendment that I researched was the first one. The First Amendment prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. This amendment was adopted on December 15, 1791. This amendment is one of ten that are in the bill of rights. The First Amendment’s five fundamental freedoms religion, speech, press, assembly and petition are hotly debated. Over the years this amendment has been challenged to the fullest. How free is speech anymore? The words do not change, but how we interpret them does. Some people feel that there is a freedom of speech but there’s a lot of things that you can’t say. Like did you know you can’t say bomb on a plane? If freedom of speech was so free why would I be restricted to say certain things? I should be able to say what I feel if I wanted to. Despite the protections found in the First Amendment, the freedoms described are under constant assault, from school officials refusing to let students express their faith and local governments and police forbidding citizens from expressing unpopular views in public to members of the press being threatened with jail time for reporting on important government programs. The First Amendment also includes the right to......

Words: 953 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Capital Punishment Essay

...Running Head: Capital Punishment Capital Punishment: Is It Cruel and Unusual Punishment? Jennifer N. Orrill Sullivan University CAPITAL PUNISHMENT: IS IT CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT? Capital punishment is a very controversial issue in America. Americans who are against capital punishment might say that innocent people get sentenced to death, because some people are wrongly convicted of murder. Some Americans would also argue that some forms of capital punishment such as the electric chair, firing squad, gas chamber, and hanging are cruel and unusual punishment. Other Americans who agree with capital punishment would argue that murderers have relinquished their rights by their actions and should be punished accordingly. To reduce the number of murders each year in the United States, this country’s judicial system needs to use the death penalty more often. More frequent death penalty sentences would reduce murders in America. In Detroit, hurt by the auto industry's woes, there were 163 murders reported in the first six months of 2009 (Berman, 2009). This country needs to lead by example. If a person is proven beyond a shadow of a doubt guilty of murder then they should automatically get a death sentence. Offenders should not get weaker sentencing for testifying against another, or for petty technicalities. If firm death penalty consequences were known before the criminal committed the murder, they may think twice about committing the crime. In recent years, DNA......

Words: 1136 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Death Penalty in Oklahoma

...The Death Penalty in Oklahoma Many people are for the death penalty in Oklahoma, while very few are against it. I have never been a supporter of the death penalty. In my opinion, it is inhumane and against the convicted criminals Eighth Amendment right of the government forcing cruel and unusual punishment. The death penalty is meant to be a deterrent to keep people from committing criminal behavior. As you will see with the unusually high number of death row inmates in Oklahoma this is not true. Have our criminals become Guinea pigs for our Justice System to try different methods of execution? Our botched police investigations, and fight for political power have left many questions raised for the number of executed inmates in Oklahoma. We fail to realize all too often that these criminals have rights also. Criminals have a right to a fair trial and a right for the government not to force cruel and unusual punishment on them. The original death penalty law in Oklahoma called for executions to be carried out by electrocution. In 1972, the Supreme Court struck down all existing death penalty statutes. In Furman v. Georgia, the Court ruled that the death penalty as administered was cruel and unusual punishment. Oklahoma rewrote their death penalty statutes to remedy the Supreme Courts concern. The Oklahoma Legislature implemented the current death penalty law in 1977. The method to carry out the execution is by lethal injection. The last execution to be carried out by......

Words: 1596 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Lethal Injection

...LETHAL INJECTION: THE DEATH PENALTY BY POISON by Roan Hieu Trung Student ID: 1391576 TROY - Saigon Technology University INTERNATIONAL TRAINING PROGRAM CENTER Legal Environment of Business (LWEN 2621) Lecturer: Brian Wayne Smith J.D There are cruel and unusual punishments that are allowed to be carried out in many countries, such as public beheadings of Islams in Saudi Arabia. There are also worse punishments carried out in the U.S, such as gas chamber ("Saudi Arabia”). As technology developed, changes were made in the implementation of capital punishment; lethal injection as a form of death penalty was founded. On January 17, 1888, Lethal Injection was first proposed by Julius Mount Bleyer, a New York doctor. The death penalty of lethal injection does not amount to a cruel and unusual punishment even though it is against popular opinions; although it does have its downsides, they are common among other methods of executions. Taking into consideration it's positives, lethal injection is more humane than other options of executions. To start, some death penalties in U.S.’s history are more cruel and unusual compared to lethal injection. Hanging was one of the earliest methods of execution used in the United States. As a punishment for violation of certain crimes, hanging was considered very effective because of its simplicity and social impacts. Before the execution, the prisoner's hands and legs are secured, he or she is blindfolded, and the noose is placed around the......

Words: 1910 - Pages: 8